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The role of hope and optimism in suicide risk for American Indians/Alaska Natives

TitleThe role of hope and optimism in suicide risk for American Indians/Alaska Natives
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsO'Keefe, VM, Wingate, LR
JournalSuicide Life Threat BehavSuicide Life Threat Behav
Volume43
Pagination621-33
Date PublishedDec
ISBN Number1943-278X (Electronic)<br/>0363-0234 (Linking)
Accession Number23855961
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Alaska, Emotions, Female, Hope, Humans, Indians, North American/ psychology, Male, Middle Aged, Psychological Theory, Risk Factors, Suicide/ psychology
AbstractThere are some American Indian/Alaska Native communities that exhibit high rates of suicide. The interpersonal theory of suicide (Joiner, 2005) posits that lethal suicidal behavior is likely preceded by the simultaneous presence of thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and acquired capability. Past research has shown that hope and optimism are negatively related to suicidal ideation, some of the constructs in the interpersonal theory of suicide, and suicide risk for the general population. This is the first study to investigate hope and optimism in relation to suicidal ideation, thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and acquired capability for American Indians/Alaska Natives. Results showed that hope and optimism negatively predicted thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and suicidal ideation. However, these results were not found for acquired capability. Overall, this study suggests that higher levels of hope and optimism are associated with lower levels of suicidal ideation, thwarted belongingness, and perceived burdensomeness in this American Indian/Alaska Native sample.
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